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Old November 21st, 2006, 09:39 AM   #1
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My New Web Sitcom is On-Line

Hey all,

Check out my new web sitcom, Buddy Jackson.

I'm producing a five minute episode once per week. I write/direct/produce. I have a cast that I really like, and a lot of good people involved.

The pilot was shot on an SDX-900 by a talented local DP named Sheila Smith with a full pro crew. It was edited by Sean Cullen.

We are still filling out the web site, and have one music cue to change out, but it is pretty much there.

I'd love to hear what you think of it... thanks in advance.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 04:39 PM   #2
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Barry,

It looks and sounds very professional. The camera work was great. The editing was great. The acting was good enough. The only problem I had was the writing. I know five minutes is not a long time, and clearly you focused on building a character, but if it is a sitcom, then the heart of each scene should have a joke, or something funny happen that also propels the story. And the overall episode should probably have some kind of funny concept to hold it together. Granted, your comedy style seems more subtle ha ha funny, rather than LOL funny, but it didn't seem like you were going for something funny enough.

For example, in your opening scene, the line about the opening for a sales manager, are you interested...no. That was, IMO, the funniest line of the whole thing. It is nicely setup and perfectly delivered. You need more of those. (Not easy, I know. I spend a lot of time writing.) It probably also should have a larger setup/punchline overall idea that pervades the scenes as well. It seems like it was written as a larger piece and was broken down into small chunks. It might be a better idea to make each piece stand alone and forget about connecting the storylines of the episodes together. Just a thought.

This little five minute structure has a lot of potential, though, especially with such a solid crew. So...good luck.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 05:40 PM   #3
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Jeff,

Thanks for the feedback... I'm glad you like the look.

The writing is always the biggest challenge, I feel. Ironically the pilot (first two episodes) got a lot less work than later ones did. I had a different pilot written and decided a week or two out that I had to scrap it and come up with a new concept. It was a challenge to put the characters together for the first time. I think as they go on they get better. We have 9 episodes shot so far, and at least 5 of them went through a lot more revisions than this one. I also think they have gotten better as the actors have settled in to the characters and have a more distinctive voice.

Thanks again.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 06:59 PM   #4
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Jeff,

That all said... I am definitely happier with the writing than you are :). I do think that my sense of humour is a little more subtle than some. I think it does pick up as you get to know the characters though...
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Old November 21st, 2006, 11:41 PM   #5
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Btw, Barry, I think every pilot episode struggles with this same issue. Even Seinfeld, arguably the greatest sitcom ever, took quite awhile to find its characters, its pacing, and its structure. Considering you only had five minutes, it's a great start. I will tune in for others to see if our sense of humor aligns.
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 05:38 PM   #6
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The BOOM guy was the funniest. The main actor is trying a bit too hard to act like Ryan Renolds. I think he has potential and just needs some directing. The whole show seemed a bit slow, the pacing I mean. Maybe a little cut here and there on the line delivery could speed things up. But the shots were great.
Congrats, I'll be tuning in next week to see how it's progressing.
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 06:03 PM   #7
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Yeah, Danny Rouhier (the "boom" guy) is very funny. He is a stand-up comedian by trade, and this is his first real acting gig. He is a huge asset, and comes back often.

The editor and I talked about picking up the pace a little bit, but his film gig took away a lot of his free time and I just needed to get it out. I actually like the pace, but I have gotten that feedback from a couple people.

Thanks for tuning in.
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 02:01 AM   #8
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I agree that the editing needs tightening; however, the show was good enough to make me want to tune in next time and check it out again. That, in and of itself, says something.
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 06:49 AM   #9
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Thanks Ryan!
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Old November 29th, 2006, 08:46 PM   #10
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well started.

I am looking forward to more episodes. You appear to be on, or near. the cusp of the next development in entertainment for the masses. The whole world seems to be making, as well as watching, videos. A very few are doing it on a professional level. Your show is a big jump up from youtube.
I am guessing that your cast and crew are donating their efforts for the fun of it and for the exposure with an eye out for hitting the "big time". But there are still costs associated with the quality level you are operating at. How are you planning on addressing them.
I also like the clean look of the web site.
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Old November 29th, 2006, 10:18 PM   #11
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Bruce,

Thanks so much for your comments and for taking a look at all. I am definitely excited about it.

In the episodes you have seen so far, no one donated their time except the PAs. I had a full-pro crew and went the extra yard to get something that would hold up for a DVD demo reel that I can take to people around DC like Discovery, America's Most Wanted, etc. Since I was paying everyone else, I paid the cast too, but not what they are worth. We shot the first two episodes that weekend.

From there out the actors are all donating their time, and most of the crew is working for free or for a significant discount. The exception is the DP, who I typically pay at or near their full rate. It is just so important to have that right, and we are moving so fast (shooting 4 episodes in 2 days) that I can't anyone who has to stop to think to hard on how to accomplish what I want. I'm also paying the editor at a somewhat discounted rate.

So yeah, there are significant costs to keeping it going - definitely in to 5 figures per year (which is still very little compared to a pro effort). I doubt that I will ever recover the full costs directly from this, but I'm sure that in one way or another it will pay off for me. If it doesn't, then I have a very expensive hobby and that's OK because it is exactly what I want to be doing.

Thanks again, and let me know what you think of the rest.
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Old November 30th, 2006, 04:15 PM   #12
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Loving it so far!

Great start! It does take a bit for the characters to develop, that's true for any sitcom. Still, you're off to a great start! I love the main character, and I also want to see more of his buddy at work, Stimpson.

Well done.

Keep us posted!

Mike
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Old November 30th, 2006, 04:32 PM   #13
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Mike,

Thanks a bunch. Yeah, Buddy, Stimpson and Jenny are in every episode. Nathan is in about every other - so there is definitely more of him on the way.

Barry
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